Bulgaria's agriculture sector appears to be taking off, according to data presented by the Agriculture Ministry and the National Statistical Institute.
Agriculture is one of the few sectors of the Bulgarian economy with positive trade balance, according to the Bulgarian Ministry of Agriculture and Foods. In 2010, Bulgaria's agriculture trade balance was positive USD 944 M, up from a positive USD 385 M in 2009.
The Agriculture Ministry boasts that what it describes as "proactive export policies of the state have led to increasing the export potential of Bulgarian agricultural products." Thus, in 2010 Bulgaria's agriculture exports amounted to USD 3.468 B compared with USD 2.795 B in 2009, a year-on-year growth of 24%. About 72% of the Bulgarian agricultural export goes to the rest of the EU with Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, and the Arab world re-emerging as important markets as well.
Agriculture occupied a share of 17% of Bulgarian exports in 2010, compared with a share of 10% of the Bulgarian imports. In 2010, even though its share of the Bulgarian GDP was only 5.2%, its gross added value grew by 10.9% year-on-year, amounting to BGN 3.67 B, which is 6% of the gross added value generated by the Bulgarian economy last year.
On quarterly basis in 2010, Bulgaria's agriculture registered the fastest growth of all economic sectors.
The Agriculture Ministry points out that Bulgaria is one of the top eight EU member states in terms of the growth of the average income from agriculture. In 2010, Bulgaria's average agriculture income grew by 23% compared with 12.3% for the EU 27. The Ministry points out that Bulgaria's growth has surpassed the growth rates in older EU member states such as Germany, Spain, the UK, Greece, and Portugal. ( Source: Sofia News Agency)